Not only that, but I was offered the chance to pick the theme so, purely selfishly - as I felt at the time it was a while since I'd been properly dimensional - I challenged them to create or alter a Three Dimensional Object.
Well, having thrown down the gauntlet, I had to come up with a three-dimensional object of my own... Well, I did. Several of them in fact. Without further ado, I give you... The Parfumerie Collection.
I'm afraid I'm a bit low on "before" pictures, and even of step-by-step photos, as I got wrapped up in the process itself. We are, nonetheless, in for a photo-heavy post, so you might want a cup of tea... or perhaps a glass of fine champagne?
I like to imagine the finished toilette collection gracing the dressing table of an 18th century lady or madame, ready to hand as she's preparing to host one of her renowned salons, where artists and intellectuals gather for stimulating conversation.
There's a pretty fine line between society hostess and courtesan, of course... What could be more seductive than a woman of scintillating wit, great beauty, and with every inch of soft skin divinely scented!
You might first need some soap - if you're of the minority who feel regular bathing is not injurious to the health.
It's just a little wodge of paper inside, I'm afraid - imagination is all here! The tissue paper around it is dyed with Bundled Sage and Iced Spruce Distress Inks and Stains.
All the labels are stamped in Sepia Archival ink onto Specialty Stamping Paper.
With stamps as exquisitely detailed as these, by Crafty Individuals, that extra bit of fine detail which the paper gives is worth every penny it costs!
The Eau de Toilette bottle in fact once held alcohol. It's one of many alcohol miniatures I have stashed awaiting alteration (years in the collecting, I hasten to add!).
There's something particularly elegant about the shape of this one, so it was a perfect choice for this collection.
There are various crackle effects in use throughout the collection.
I believe that on this one I used the DecoArt One-Step Crackle, over a coat of their sealer.
Then I added DecoArt Blue Mist and Ice Blue acrylics over it. They were slightly diluted, so as to keep the translucence of the glass.
You can see the glow as the sunlight illuminates it here.
For the lid, I used a decorative button from my stash, altered with the same paints, and a touch of Tarnished Brass Distress Paint, and there's some Idea-ology bead chain and a tassel around the swan-like neck.
(I'm sure our elegant courtesan has a swan-like neck too, plenty of room for dabbing the eau-de-toilette to attract the lips of the rake as he's whispering gossip in her ear.)
The metal filigree piece, from The Funkie Junkie Boutique, seemed perfect to go behind the label.
The small powder container is one of my moisturiser pots (empty, of course, and thoroughly rinsed out), again hoarded for months awaiting its moment in the candlelight.
The Blue Mist and Ice Blue came into play again to alter the colour, but applied quite roughly to get a textured, distressed look.
As with all the pieces in the collection, I layered inked book pages, some lace, and then added some metal embellishing, altered with various paints to make them all co-ordinate.
For the final piece in our toiletry set, the Cologne bottle, I do have a part-way photo.
This glass bottle is originally from Germany and contained coffee milk. You've seen one like it before in my black and gold PaperArtsy Christmas candle collection.
Well, this one had been the subject of some Tim Holtz experimentation.
He shared a technique to apply Rock Candy Crackle Paint to glass, and this was where I tried it out... then it just sat there, awaiting the next step.
It turned out the next step was some Blue Mist and Ice Blue paint.
In fact, the places where I over-applied the RCCP, so that it slid down in globules, now became rather fabulously funky - creating really cool additional texture and interest on the surface of my bottle.
I used a metal rose for the lid, glued onto another button from the stash, and again altered with the DecoArt paints as well as some Tarnished Brass Distress Paint, sanding back to the metal in places too.
The Idea-ology Ornate Plate on the front got the same treatment, and I attached it using some frivolous ribbons, with another one around the neck to match.
I'm quite certain that our courtesan decorates her powdered wig with the most frivolous of ribbons, so it seemed appropriate.
I hope you've enjoyed this brush with history - a particular historical vignette that I'm very fond of. I think I'd've made an excellent salon-hostess (and probably a pretty good courtesan too, come to that!) and I suspect I might have been more at home in the 18th century than the 21st.
I hope my Parfumerie Collection will inspire you to create or alter a three-dimensional object of your own (one will do!) and join in over at the Fashionable Stamping Challenges this fortnight.
Thank you so much for stopping by. I'll see you soon, either here (later this morning, in fact) or elsewhere in Craftyblogland. Have a wonderful Sunday!
Odours have a power of persuasion stronger than words, appearances, emotions or will. The persuasive power of an odour cannot be fended off, it enters into us like breath into our lungs, it fills us up, imbues us totally. There is no remedy for it.
From Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind
Having borrowed Madame's toiletries for this Mixed Media make, and with the added Metal embellishments on each piece, I'd like to enter this in the M Challenge at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge.
At the Craft-Room Challenge the theme is Recycle - the bottles and the moisturiser pot are all in the mix.
And the All Crafts Challenge at Craft My Life are playing Anything Goes But No Cards.
At PanPastel UK the new theme is Florals - quite apart from the floral fragrances inside, there are flowers on the labels, as decoration and as one of the lids!
Craft Hoarders Anonymous are inviting us to use up Ribbon, Lace and Twine - with not only ribbon and lace but all those hoarded bottles and pots - well, it seems like a match made in heaven!